|Stick Figures Tell Total Strangers with Criminal Intent Too Much|
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Ever wonder how robbers pick homes to rob? It usually isn’t impulse. The important thing is to avoid being a target. What are the ways we make ourselves a target?
*Checking in at various locations via your smart phone. Anyone with social media knows where you’re at and it’s not at home.
*Broadcasting your vacation plans before or while you are on vacation via social media. Plenty of time to post after you get back.
*Big events announcements such as a wedding, funeral, even graduation can lure a burglar to your house. A house sitter or a neighbor would be helpful on these occasions.
*Bought a new television or computer? Cut up the box as opposed to leaving it whole beside the trash can. You might be excited about your new toy, but no reason to advertise to would be burglars.
*Do you have sliding glass doors? If so, use the pole stick in the door to keep uninvited guests out. This is the number two method of burglars entering a home.
* The favorite entry is through unlocked doors. Many people, especially those with children, leave doors unlocked when they leave. Not on purpose, the children who have been running in and out of the house left them unlocked.
* Lock second stories windows do not assume they’re unreachable.
*Change your garage code if it is 000, 1234, 2345, 9999, etc. An enterprising robber can go through a quick series of common numbers.
*Know your neighbors. Bold burglars showed up with a moving van systematically robbed a swanky neighborhood. They would occasionally change out the moving van for a white panel van. The neighbors never expected anything even though they watched the robbers load all the goodies into the van. Staying current with the neighbors would have alerted them of any moving plans or not.
*Got vanity license plates on your car? Con artists are very fond of these because it demonstrates a strong need for attention and the belief that the owner is special. These are key elements for a face to face con.
*Stick people on cars, especially if they include sports figures. Your son’s football helmet with his name identifies that he’ll be at practice or games. It isn’t hard to look up school games and knowing when the family will be gone.
*Pedophiles can use the stick people to shop for potential targets, especially if emblazoned with the child’s name. (Of course, a mini-van is hint enough you have children.)
*Being nice & talking to strangers. Remember your mom always warned you about strangers. Con artists approach people who are nice to them. Those who rebuff them are saved the trouble of trying to get out of a too good to be true deal.
*Don’t Expect a Free Lunch. Ever found yourself in a resort city and been approached by timeshare rep offering you free or reduced tickets for a few minutes of your time. First, it will a daylong ordeal, leaving you little time to use the hard-earned tickets. Using your AAA discount is a better solution.
*Secure Your Valuables- This no brainer is true for any time. Traveling-hide your valuables, lock your car, and use the hotel safe. Often robbers aren’t always strangers. With this in mind, keep your valuables locked up. Often prescription medicine can be the item targeted as opposed to grandmother’s pearls. Be aware of who is in your house from maid service, handy men, etc. Once something is missing, it’s gone. A high deductible would cancel out any benefit of even registering a claim. Often insurance companies refuse to pay, especially if the house was unlocked or you have no proof of purchase of the stolen item.
Your best bet is try not to be a target.